Children with special needs participate in hands-on activities to learn about, appreciate and conserve the wonders of nature in our Garden City
Singapore, 24 September 2010 – 1,200 children with special needs will participate in hands-on activities to learn about, appreciate and conserve nature through the Special Projects to Understand Nature (SUN) Club programme, which celebrates its 5th anniversary today.
Launched in 2006, SUN Club is the first and only nature appreciation programme that is tailor-made for children with special needs. With the help of trained guides and volunteers, these children will experience the sights and sounds of nature at selected parks and nature reserves. Over the past five years, more than 3,500 children from 13 schools have benefited from the programme. In the coming year, 1,200 children are expected to participate in SUN Club’s activities.
New developments for the SUN Club were announced at the 5th anniversary celebrations held at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.
In previous years, SUN Club was focused on raising awareness of parks and nature reserves. From this year on, schools will get to select new activities that allow the children to take a more active role. These activities were identified after a series of trials showed that children had a keen interest in more hands-on work like planting native flora, removing invasive plants and cleaning up coastal areas. More parks, such as HortPark, will also be included in the programme,
Dr Tony Tan, Chairman of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Foundation and the Guest of Honour at Sun Club’s 5th anniversary celebrations, said: “With the close partnership between SPH Foundation and NParks, I am sure the programme will flourish in the years to come. I also hope that more special needs students will venture out of their classrooms to learn about the wonders of nature.”
Prof Leo Tan, Chairman of Garden City Fund, said: “The Garden City Fund is grateful for SPH Foundation’s sponsorship of the SUN Club. Their staunch support has enabled more children to experience, enjoy and benefit from contact with the natural environment. This is important as I strongly believe that a close interaction with nature is beneficial to a child’s well-being, education, and social development. I would also like to thank the principals, teachers, students and volunteers for being an integral part of the SUN Club, and look forward to their continued participation.”
SUN Club’s 5th anniversary celebrations was attended by more than 150 special needs students, teachers and volunteers. Besides engaging in fun activities like making bird mobiles and finger painting, students from Tanglin School, Metta School and Lee Kong Chian Gardens School put up music and dance performances for the guests. Representatives from the schools also presented a handmade patchwork quilt to Dr Tan to convey their appreciation for the SUN Club.
The SUN Club programme is a partnership between SPH Foundation, the National Parks Board (NParks) and the Garden City Fund (GCF).
Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Foundation and the National Parks Board
For more information, please contact:
Sherlyn Yap (Ms)
Singapore Press Holdings Foundation
DID: 6319 1226
H/P: 9177 0747
Gary Yeo (Mr)
Singapore Press Holdings Foundation
DID: 6319 1225
H/P: 9684 0498
Chen Hsin Yeow (Mr)
National Parks Board
DID: 6471 7302
H/P: 9187 1926
About the Singapore Press Holdings Foundation
The Singapore Press Holdings Foundation, a registered charity and an Institution of Public Character, was set up in January 2003 to help build a lifelong learning community that embraces language enrichment, creativity, diversity, healthy living and sports. The seed contribution of $20 million to the Foundation came from media group Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. For more information, please visit the Foundation’s website at www.sphfoundation.org.sg.
About the Garden City Fund
The Garden City Fund is a registered charity and IPC that was established in 2002. It is supported by but independent of NParks. The Fund works with corporations, organisations and individuals to engage members of the public to be involved in our Garden City through conservation efforts, research, outreach and education. In doing so, we hope to cultivate a love for the environment, promote a sense of ownership, and encourage the community to play its part in preserving Singapore’s legacy as a lush and vibrant garden city. For more information please visit www.gardencityfund.org.
About National Parks Board
National Parks Board (NParks) is responsible for providing and enhancing the greenery of the Garden City. Beyond green infrastructure, NParks is committed to enhancing the quality of life through creating memorable recreational experiences and lifestyles.
NParks manages over 50 major parks and 4 nature reserves. Adding to this is the extensive streetscape, or roadside greenery, that forms the backbone of our City in a Garden. An island-wide Park Connector Network is also being developed to link major parks and residential areas.
As Singapore’s scientific authority on nature conservation, NParks monitors and coordinates measures to ensure the health of Singapore’s biodiversity. This supports the overall thrust of our urban biodiversity conservation model, which aims to conserve representative eco-systems in land-scarce Singapore for future generations.
NParks is also the lead agency in the efforts to continually upgrade the Landscape Industry in Singapore. It works closely with industry partners to promote good work practices and create a thriving, innovative and professional industry that will support Singapore’s aspirations of being a City in a Garden.
For more information, log on to: www.nparks.gov.sg